Wedding season is in full swing and I’ve been MIA from my blog. Today has been the first time in over a month I’ve actually had enough energy and contentment to sit quietly on our patio and just write.
This season feels so different from last year it’s hard to even comprehend where I was at a year ago today. I had just finished up as campaign assistant to Minister Terry Lake in the provincial election, I was in the process of finishing up a contract planning job at the YMCA, I just finished planning my sister’s June 28th wedding, I had 9 other weddings on top of my own to plan, and we were packing our basement suite for a move to Kelowna. Last year all I kept saying to myself was to put my head down and get through it. When it came to leaving for our honeymoon in late September, I was so exhausted I bawled my eyes out for an entire hour before we left. A tantrum that resembled something of a 2 year old needing a nap crossed with feeling like you were being tortured with the worst hangover of your life.
Something had to give this year. If I wanted to be a full-time wedding planner I was going to have to make a lot of changes. It started with the move to the Okanagan but that was just the beginning. I attended a one-on-one workshop with one of California’s top wedding planners, I hired a business coach, I got creative with behind the scenes branding, I paid close attention to what blogs and magazines were looking for and got featured 11 times, I networked and marketed, and studied business books every spare hour I had time for. And when all of that was done, I raised my rates. Significantly. After 10 months of living in Kelowna, I have increased my average booking rate by 500%. Though it was really never about the money. I just wanted to raise the bar for myself. Really raise it. Enough that my brides saw and felt value in my new pricing and that I felt creative and inspired enough to make this my full-time career.
There’s no doubt I feel exhausted this season but it’s definitely different. For the first time since becoming a wedding planner I feel like every extra hour I put in and every detail I obsess over is being recognized and valued. Every lost hour of sleep and every painful step with sore feet after a wedding day is worth it. My clients are worth it.
I’m so excited to get to wake up and live my dream job every single day. I’ll be attending a styling workshop this October in Whistler with one of the most talented stylists in the US, Joy Thigpen. And I hope to continue to push to be a better entrepreneur and planner every single year.
Here’s to an amazing summer full of the most beautiful weddings.